CBD oil used to make jars of skincare products

What is CBD, How To Add It To Your Skincare Regime

By Dr. Lauren Knight

Even if you are not one to follow trends, CBD really does seem to be the latest buzzword. In many ways though, it does seem to be more than just a fad. With the internet going wild with the coined phrase “marijuanaissance”. This little extract seems to be the cure all, save all and perfect addition to your already overpriced pizza.

But what is CBD and should we all be adding it to our skincare regimens?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the 80 compounds called cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. It is the lesser-known sibling of THC, the one that when consumed does not make you high.

So how does CBD work?

Our bodies naturally produce anandamide which is a cannabis-type chemical aka the “bliss molecule”, which is responsible for the well experienced “runner’s high”, which is the sense of euphoria and satisfaction runners experience after exercise.

Both CBD and THC bind to cannabinoid receptors in your body, which then set off a series of reactions in the brain and spinal cord that ultimately produce their effects. When THC is involved, those effects might include euphoria, pain relief, and an increase in appetite. CBD on the other hand is postulated to naturally boost the degree of anandamide in your body having an anti-inflammatory outcome. The effects of CBD are less well studied and true evidence of benefit is in treating cases of intractable epilepsy and motor neurone disease.

CBD and the skin:

When applied to the skin the effects are local. Apart from being just oil it is reported to contain Vitamins A, D, E and essential fatty acids. Most studies of effect are based on animal models with reports of anti-inflammatory effects and decreasing the over production of keratinocytes (skin cells). These effects make CBD potentially beneficial in conditions with inflammation at their core e.g. acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and there are claims of anti-ageing benefits.

While there doesn’t seem to be any harm in using products containing CBD and many other ingredients have also come to the fore based on anecdotal reports of effect, there definitely are more effective proven skincare ingredients you should look to first.

Trends are great, but where there are scientifically proven alternatives, I think that’s where your money can be better spent.

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Lauren Knight

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